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December 15--  Volunteers from Toombs County United Charities spent last Thursday in the parking lot of the Ed Smith Recreation Complex in Vidalia handing out $50 Bi-Lo gift cards to help folks in need have a merrier Christmas.

toombscharitySome of the recipients said it means, "That families can eat and be thankful" and "It's a good thing for people who need help and don't have money to buy groceries."

Jan Williams and Keith Dawson help organize the effort and Dawson reminds folks that Toombs United Charities is a United Way agency, "We're actually the oldest charity in Toombs County dating back to 1971.  I'm not sure all the people around here know exactly where all the money goes from the United Way but I can tell you we've been blessed by the United Way over the years and thousands of people have been blessed because of it," he says.

In some years, as many as 800 families have received assistance and  this year more than 450 families signed up during registration at the Vidalia First Baptist Church. "The need is still there and we give 100% of what we receive to those who need it.  They fill out an extensive questionnaire about income and need.  There's no science to it.  We pray about it and, based on the information given, we try to pick the most needy and give from there," Dawson said.